Risk factors for nightblindness among women of childbearing age in Cambodia

R. D. Semba, S. de Pee, D. Panagides, O. Poly, M. W. Bloem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize risk factors for nightblindness among nonpregnant women of childbearing age, a group recently recognized to be at high risk of vitamin A deficiency in some developing countries. Design: Case-control study. Setting: The study included > 15 000 households in National Micronutrient Survey of Cambodia conducted in 2000. Subjects: The prevalence of nightblindness among 13 358 nonpregnant women was 2.0%. A total of 328 nonpregnant women with nightblindness were matched by province with 1009 nonpregnant women without nightblindness. Methods: Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) as estimates of the relative risk of factors associated with nightblindness. Results: In a final model, materials in the wall of the house (OR 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.0), land ownership ≤0.5 hectares (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0-1.9), nightblindness in last pregnancy (OR 44.5, 95% CI 29.2-67.8), parity > 3 (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0-2.1), diarrhea within the last 2 weeks (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3-2.8), maternal body mass index < 18.5 (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.7), and lack of consumption of vitamin A-rich animal foods in the last 24 h (1-60 retinol equivalents (RE) OR 1.1 , 95% CI 0.7-1.6; ≥60 RE, OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.0) were associated with nightblindness among nonpregnant women. Conclusions: Women of childbearing age in Cambodia with low socioeconomic status, low consumption of vitamin A-rich animal foods, a history of nightblindness during the previous pregnancy, parity > 3, malnutrition, and diarrhea have a higher risk of nightblindness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1632
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Cambodia
  • Diarrhea
  • Epidemiology
  • Nightblindness
  • Poverty
  • Vitamin A
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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